Germany Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, Faces Mixed Reactions Amid Celebration

Germany Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, Faces Mixed Reactions Amid Celebration

Germany Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, Faces Mixed Reactions Amid Celebration

Ghazali Ibrahim

Germany has become the largest member of the European Union (EU) to legalize recreational cannabis, a decision met with both jubilation and apprehension from various quarters.

Effective Monday, adults aged 18 and above are now permitted to possess up to 25 grams of dried cannabis and cultivate a maximum of three marijuana plants for personal use. This initiative places Germany in league with Malta and Luxembourg, making it as one of the European countries with the most progressive cannabis laws, leadership news reports.

However, the legislation has sparked a contentious debate, with opposition politicians and health experts voicing concerns over potential societal repercussions, particularly among youth.

According to CNN, Critics fear that legalization could lead to increased cannabis consumption among adolescents and young adults, potentially exacerbating health risks such as psychosis and schizophrenia associated with prolonged use.

Despite these reservations, supporters of the law gathered in large numbers at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to celebrate its enactment, viewing it as a victory for personal freedom and individual rights.

The legislation also introduces the concept of “cannabis clubs,” slated to commence operations on July 1.

These clubs, which can accommodate up to 500 members each, will be authorized to distribute up to 50 grams of cannabis per member per month.

This follows the abandonment of plans to establish licensed cannabis shops, a decision influenced by opposition from the EU, although a trial for shop sales in select regions remains under consideration.

The German government, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, believes that legalization will effectively combat the thriving black market for cannabis while generating significant revenue through taxation and regulation.

Nevertheless, apprehensions persist regarding the implementation of the new laws and the potential strain on the legal system due to a retroactive amnesty for cannabis-related offenses, which could impact over 200,000 cases.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, while acknowledging the risks associated with cannabis use, particularly among adolescents, has pledged to launch an extensive public information campaign to educate citizens about the potential hazards of cannabis consumption, leadership news reports.


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